Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Delicious Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

When life gives you lemons … 

I’m sure you have heard it before, when life gives you lemons … (insert witty comment) and in my case its: bake lemon meringue cupcakes. I have been wanting to try these out for a while but didn’t really think my skill level was that high, but after making them on the weekend I realised they are actually quite simple to make and a lot of fun to assemble.

Step One: The Cupcakes

This was the easy part. I decided to try a different recipe than my normal basic vanilla cupcake recipe and I stumbled upon Martha Stewart’sLemon Meringue Cupcakes recipe. I have started to use buttermilk in a lot of my recipes as I feel it gives the cupcake more or a richer smoother taste without being dense and heavy. So I was quite keen to try this out. However I didn’t want the cupcakes to be lemon flavour as I figured the lemon butter would take care of that and I didn’t want to overpower it. So I simply skipped the lemon zest and lemon juice. I didn’t need to add anything else to it, the mixture was a great consistency without it. They came out looking beautiful and golden, rose just a little and smelt sooooo amazing!

See ... beautiful and golden

Step Two: Lemon Butter

I have never made Lemon Butter before, I know, crazy right! It such a classic thing to make. I looked in my Country Women’s Association (CWA) book hoping to find a simple classic recipe, but didn’t quite find what I was looking for. For those of you that don’t know, CWA books are the bomb! They have hundreds of recipes in their books and they are always simple and tasty. Kinda like the recipes your Mum or Grandma would make. So I was a little surprised and disappointed that I didn’t find a good lemon butter recipe. Nonetheless I found this one here on Frills in the Hills. I think the fact that it is the blog author’s nans recipe just seemed to make it a little more authentic to me. Oh and I definitely didn’t want to make an ‘easy microwave’ recipe. To me that isn’t traditional and it’s cheating. Kinda like using packet mix cupcakes instead of starting from scratch. Anyway, we won’t get into that debate!
The recipe says you need a candy thermometer, unfortunately I don’t have one of them, but I do have a meat thermometer! Haha so I just used that instead.

The highest temp is 200, so I just guessed when it hit the 230 degrees. My lemon butter turned out pretty good, only it seemed to have little white flecks in it, which I think was the zest. My grater only has 2 different grater types on it, so next time I will make sure I have a proper zester. The lemon butter was delicious though, zesty bits and all!

Step Three: Meringue

I was a little anxious making the meringue, it just always seems like such a daunting thing to do, getting the whites to the right consistency without over doing it. Its only been a week but I already cant remember the recipe I used! But I do remember the recipe saying it would make 8 cups, that seemed like enough for a dozen cupcakes, it certainly was! I don’t have a stand mixer yet, just a simple hand held kitchen aid mixer. So I didn’t use a whisk attachment like was requested, just the standard beaters. However it still turn out perfectly. Getting it into the piping bag was fun though!

Step Four: Putting it all together

So the last and final step was to put all of this together. I used a cupcake corer to cut out a whole in the middle of the cupcake. This was when I had my first taste of the cupcakes, eating the core centre that I pulled out and it was soooo good, I couldn't wait to eat the whole thing.

So I cored the cupcakes then spooned a few teaspoons of the lemon butter into the whole, filling it to the top, being careful not to over fill it.

Then I filled my piping bag with meringue, and used a large start tip and piped very high swirls on the cupcake, ensuring I covered any evidence of the lemon butter hidden underneath. Then the fun bit, using the blow torch!

I have only ever used a mini blow torch once before when I made crème brulee and it was so much fun! I know that sounds sad, but it’s just cool, to see the pristine white meringue instantly turn golden and brown on the outside Once I had my fun with the blow torch I sprinkled a bit of lemon zest on the top and wallah! Lemon Meringue Cupcakes are finito!

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